Still happy after our 5-0 drubbing of Porto, yesterday I had to go and pick up some bits and pieces that had been kept in storage when I moved. Lots of DVD’s, video tapes and newspaper clippings were part of the ‘bit and pieces’
The newspapers were all about tennis and football, the tennis being Martina Navratilova, who remains the greatest female tennis player of all time, despite some thinking it is Serena Williams. Navratilova still holds the record for singles wins and I think doubles as well. It’s a record that I can’t see being beaten either, not in the women’s game and certainly not in my lifetime!
Picked up the first newspaper and just like I still do today, went straight to the back page for the sports news. I wondered why I had kept it.
The paper was dated May 12th 2002 – yes you know where I am going.
Sports news was about Kieron Dyer’s injury that threatened his World Cup place; David Beckham had finally signed a new contract with Manchester United, Alex Stewart has just been picked again for the test squad, Aston Villa had thrashed Chelsea 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, Manchester United had drawn 0-0 at home with Charlton and Leicester, yes Leicester had thrashed Tottenham Hotspur 2-1!!
Best result though that stood out was that Arsenal had beaten Everton 4-3 – a goal from Dennis Bergkamp, two from Thierry Henry and the fourth was scored by Francis Jeffers! Henry had secured the Golden Boot award, and we had just won the Premier League. In fact we had not only won the league but we had added that to our FA Cup win – the double was ours again!
I remember it so very well, I am sure you all do too.
The small headline in the paper that caught my eye read like this,
Adams: ‘Sol is Top Gun’
Tony Adams celebrated the Double win with gusto and then declared that Sol Campbell had become the New Rock of Highbury!
Adams said ‘Sol has been instrumental in what we have achieved. He has taken a load off of the rest of us and has made a big difference’
Big Tony was not only Mr Arsenal, he was an outstanding centre half and part of one of the strongest English defences football has ever seen. He may have been known as a donkey by some, but there weren’t many strikers who took him for a ride. To this day he knows what defending is all about and back then he used to show the world just how good he was. He was right in his judgement of Sol.
When Sol re-signed in January, I was very surprised! I have always loved Sol Campbell, well since he donned his Arsenal shirt. I was bitter and angry about his walk about after West Ham, but he did make a difference to our side.
He was, and still is a great defender who had the football brain equivalent to Einstein – you know what I mean 😉
My point is Sol is still a top gun, he isn’t perfect, but he isn’t far off. Against Porto he was solid!
With Gallas being out I am always nervous to see who plays alongside Vermaelen. Silvestre makes me twitchy, but Sol is still able to give me confidence. Crazy really as his is the elder of the two, but Sol still ‘has it’!
Tony Adams was right back in 2002 about Sol Campbell, but then he said he had become the ‘Rock of Highbury’
If we carry on and get the right results over the next few weeks, Big Sol Campbell could very well find himself being
‘The Rock of The Emirates’.
Now there’s a thought….